New Career = New Parent?

While I am classified as being in Gen-Y (I was born in 1980), I tend to ride the fence in terms of my perceptions vs. the general sentiment of bloggers out there. One thing I’ve noticed lately is many folks giving advice (which is really closer to their opinions) on what it takes to transition into the workforce. And most of it is bullshit. But as I see it being spewn about the internet, I can’t help but remember seeing the same thing happen to me when my son was born. So how is starting a career like being a new parent?

My son will be 2 years old in August, and it’s been a non-stop learning experience since the beginning, as both my wife and I were first-time parents. Once we announced to our friends and family that we were having a baby, the floodgates opened, and out poured more useless and unsolicited advice than you could imagine. The types of advice that we received can be categorized as follows:

General Advice

This kind is pretty harmless. Most likely, these folks are just passing on some bit of experience that they’ve acquired over time, and it’s broad enough so that, while not being very helpful, certainly isn’t bad.

Outdated

I’m not saying that there aren’t things to learn from older generations. Actually, I’m a big fan of that. However, when it comes to a lot of things about raising a kid, the world has changed from when you did it 50 years ago. The technologies and education environments (not to mention medical advancements) have changed the way a lot of things are done, and for the better.

Irrelevant

I have a boy who loves to smile, wants to watch baseball before cartoons, and hates (beyond belief) getting his hair wet in the shower. So please stop telling me how ‘such and such product / service / idea’ worked for your 5 year old girl. It’s not helping. And esp. since you don’t know a thing about me or my family, what makes your believe that what you have to say makes a difference at all?

So was there anything actually useful? You bet. And interestingly enough, it came from a friend of mine who (at the time) had a 1 year old. Their experience was relevant, timely, and proved to be valuable. She told me this:

“Over everything else, never ever let the child turn you two against each other”.

She was right.

{ 4 comments }

Ryan Stephens July 18, 2009 at 12:09 pm

So basically after I read this, “…wants to watch baseball before cartoons,” I couldn’t focus on anything you said after that. I only hope I get so lucky!

cooper July 20, 2009 at 6:11 pm

Right On. ( hate people that say that but it works here)

It is bullshit and I’m much younger than you. I felt that maybe I just had a bad attitude reading some of the things I see written by people who obviously have no clue and are lacking life experience. I am pretty lucky to have worked for a great humanitarian agency for a year and a half and a great state agency on women. I feel that the people older than myself have been nothing but helpful to me, and without that help I would not be where I am, still in grad school with job offers out the ya zoo.

Speaking of kids, my parents were probably a rarity in their gen, they raised us like they had been raised, figuring they turned out ok so we would too. With some exceptions of course we were not the product of yuppies even though they looked like yuppies…there is something to be said for experience.

Norcross July 21, 2009 at 10:19 am

Yeah, I was pretty fortunate that my folks (a) we not wealthy and (b) actually cared about what happened to us, and not how we’d affect their appearance, social stature, etc. I tend gravitate to folks a bit older than me, whether it’s literally their age or from an experience standpoint.

Mamma August 10, 2009 at 8:19 pm

I’ve found that the easiest way to shut everyone up from giving us advice is to start talking about just how amazing littleman is. “Oh really, we never had that problem, he started sleeping through the night at 4 months, and goes to bed now at 8 and sleeps for 12 hours…” Now, if they have any advice on how to get our dogs to listen…I’m all ears…